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Free Dentistry Day Helps Canadian Communities One Smile at a Time

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In our post about volunteerism in dentistry, we learned how this essential, volunteer service provided by dental healthcare professionals serves as a lifeline for patients who cannot afford care.

Drs. Yamen Ghamian and Habib Khoury started a free dentistry day in their office in Kanata, Ottawa, in 2014. Now, the Free Dentistry Day initiative has grown and it is annually taking place in many dental practices across the city and the country.   

Today, we’re speaking with Dr. Yamen Ghamian and Dr. Alin lvanita who have been offering Free Dentistry Days in their own practices. The two dentists friends and colleagues hope to encourage other dentists to hold similar volunteer days to helps patients get the care they need regardless of financial barriers.

What is a Free Dentistry Day?

In the annual Free Dentistry Day, a dental office designates one day a year to provide free dental care for those who cannot access it. The dentist and their team will pick a day, typically a Saturday, when the whole team will volunteer their time to provide those in need with basic dental care: extractions, fillings, or cleanings etc. The patient chooses one free service.

About Dr. Yamen Ghamian

Dr. Ghamian graduated from McGill University with a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree in 2002. He then did a one-year residency at the University of Michigan where he obtained a certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry. The certificate provided him with advanced knowledge in cosmetic dentistry and periodontics. 

About Dr. Alin lvanita

Dr. Alin Ivanita joined the group of Ottawa family dentists in 2002. He is an avid adventurer and works with Kindness in Action, helping to provide family dental treatment to people in remote areas of Central and South America. Dr. Ivanita has a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree from McGill University where he concurrently completed a BSc. in Psychology. 

During this Oasis discussion, the doctors discuss:

  • What they hope to accomplish with the initiative.
  • The importance of taking on pro-bono dental care at the local level.
  • How the initiative guides dentists through this process and shows them a systematic path to offering Free Dentistry Days in their own practice.
  • How to get involved as a practicing dentist: where to start, using the guidelines and spreading the word.
  • The Free Dentistry Day website and the initiative goals and purpose as well as resources.
  • Getting in-kind donations to support patients and staff during your event.
  • Social media practices to market the event and spread the word.
  • Responding to the needs of patients in local communities that are unable to access dental treatment.
  • Team building and morale boosting as a result of holding Free Dentistry Days.

Download the free e-Book, Practical Guide to Hosting Your Own Free Dentistry Day, and learn to set up your event step-by-step.  

Hosting a Free Dentistry Day? Use these forms to help you work more efficiently.

Read/download the transcript of the conversation (PDF)

Oasis Moment/Preview (1.58″)

Full Conversation (11.56″) 

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

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